Watch John Wayne Hilariously Destroy Set on Glen Campbell’s Variety Show in 1971

by Robert Davis
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The late John Wayne was known for being a bit of a rowdy cowboy. Between the fights and hot talk in saloons, The Duke knew how to throw a shot and take one too. In one episode of Glen Campbell’s Variety Show, he decided to show off just how skilled of a fighter he was.

Known as the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour, the comedy television show aired on CBS for nearly three years. According to the TV Ratings Guide, the show’s first season was the 15-most popular show on television. However, it had fallen to number-37 by the time it was taken off air in 1972.

Campbell told Wayne that he was “flattered” that John would appear on the show. Prior to the episode, the duo had linked up for a television special that garnered high ratings as well. The two chatted about the ratings before the conversation got ugly.

Wayne Smashes Up the Set

Tim Conway, a comedy writer and performer, appeared to greet Wayne during the conversation. Conway asks John Wayne how he handles taking the beatings that the audience sees on film.

“Glen, that’s him. That’s the big guy,” Conway says, pulling on Campbell’s arm. “Can you believe it, a little guy like me is gonna get to work with The Duck.”

Wayne looked visibly bothered by the comment. Then, after Conway asks Wayne to show the audience how to “take a beating,” Wayne obliges in a very memorable way.

“You know, when you’re on set getting hit a lot, it must hurt don’t it, Mr. Wayne?” Conway asks.

“Shoot, no,” Wayne replies. He then grabs a beer bottle from the set and smashes it over Conway’s head. “You see, everything here is fake. It’s all made of spun-up glass. Now, that didn’t hurt, did it?” he asks Conway.

Conway sheepishly shakes his head no, and then the chaos ensues. John Wanye breaks a sign over Conway’s head. Then, he smashes a chair over Conway’s back. By the time a grip appears on set to deliver the “fake props,” Wayne had already smashed up the set.

Best Fight Scenes Featuring John Wayne

The moves John Wayne used during Glen Campbell’s show were reminiscent of many of his most famous fight scenes.

In Hondo, The Duke knocks out a couple of guys after the pull guns on him in a saloon. As Mostly Westerns described the scene, Wayne was “morally obliged to do so” because of the circumstances.

Yet again, John Wayne finds himself in a similar situation in Donovan’s Reef when he gets tied up with another couple of men in a bar. Wayne takes a shot that lands him across the bar. He seems to recover quickly though as the scene ends with him nearly drowning a man.

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